Friday, December 19, 2014

Salted Caramel Marshmallow Dip

It is no news to you that I'm a sucker for sweet and salty.  I absolutely love the contrast of flavors, and the way the salt helps to balance the sweetness in dishes.  And salted caramel, well that ranks right up at the top of my list of faves.  I on or in pretty much everything.

While I have a homemade recipe that I adore, I have to say I was over the moon with joy when I came across this sea salt caramel sauce from Bosco's in the grocery store.  It made it in my buggy before I could blink.  Once I got home, it was time for the real test.  The taste test.  Would it live up to my hopes, dreams...and expectations?

I quickly ripped off the seal and squeezed a hefty amount on a spoon.  I mean, we are taste testing here so you I had to make sure I got enough in my mouth to really get a good taste.  Once that caramel hit my tongue...ohmygoodness...I was ecstatic.  It was creamy, buttery, smooth; everything you want in a delicious caramel sauce.  And, it had the perfect amount of salt to balance the flavors.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fudgy, Peppermint Pattie Brownie Cups

This past weekend we celebrated my little guy's birthday!  I can't believe he's already 5!  We all know that no birthday celebration is complete without a cake.  So when deciding what type of cake to make, I went directly the the birthday boy himself and asked what flavor cake he wanted.  I gave him a few options and then he quickly blurted out mint chocolate chip.  He's been on this mint chocolate kick since the beginning of the year and those cravings have not weakened.

And to be honest, that doesn't hurt my feelings one bit.  He is a child after my own heart.  I remember when I was little, going to a local ice cream shop and requesting a waffle cone full of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  I also was a sucker for Andes mints;  every time I walked through my aunt's door I instantly went to the bowl of mints and snatched a few.  Just like my little guy, my cravings haven't gotten weaker over the years.

Lump of Coal Krispie Treats

So, when I think of Christmas one of the first things that I think about is the naughty and nice list.  The infamous saying that you'll get presents if you are nice, but you'll get a stocking full of coal if you're naughty.  You know what I'm talking about.

Today, I want to share with you something that is just perfect for those people that didn't quite make the cut for the nice list.  Yes, I'm talking about something for those people that are on the naughty list...or for those folks that you just want to get a rise from.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hot Chocolate on a Peppermint Stick

I am beyond excited to share this recipe with you today!  I have spotted several variations of this recipe floating around on the internet and I think it's such a fun and clever way to serve hot chocolate.

With winter weather comes the cravings of hot chocolate and I have so many recipes I want to share with you.  But for the sake not wanting to overwhelm you, I am trying to space them out as much as possible.   Since I'm in love with this version I decided to share it with you sooner rather than later.

Forget the powders and packets, with this version we're talking solid chocolate.  But, not just any chocolate, chocolate ganache that is cut into blocks or circles.  It's rich, creamy and smooth and I could honestly eat it straight from the pan.  Yes, it's that good.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

White Chocolate, Peppermint, Marshmallow Pops


Can you believe Christmas is a week away?  A week!  Have you made your list and checked it twice? Or, are you still struggling with what exactly to get some of those people on your list?  If you have some of those people that are difficult to by for turn to food.  Everyone LOVES food, and the gift of a homemade good and treats mean so much since you have to take the time and put forth the effort to make them.

I have an incredibly easy idea to show you today, and I'm so excited for you to check it out.  White chocolate, peppermint, marshmallow pops.  These little treats are no-bake and the perfect option for a quick, homemade gift or party favors to give your Christmas party guests.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Chewy, Brown Butter Gingersnaps

Okay, let's just clarify before I go any further.  I get that you can't have a cookie that truly snaps and is chewy.  So, I've kept the "snap" in the title for the sake of tradition, and well, to me ginger chewies or ginger cookies just don't have the same appeal as gingersnaps.  At least to me.

I have long been a fan of gingersnaps.  I remember sitting on my grandma's counter helping her mix, add the sugar, stream in that rich, deep molasses and then rolling balls of dough in sugar and placing them on the cookie sheet.  After we did all that, I didn't get far from the oven.  I bent down and peered through the oven window patiently waiting for those little balls of deliciousness to flatten out and come out of the oven.  I waited just long enough for them to get cool enough for me to hold and then I devoured them.

To me, there's nothing better than a cookie straight out of the oven and gingersnaps are no exception.  I love gingersnaps, but I like them chewy.  And the only way for me to enjoy them just the way I wanted them was while they were warm.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping

Starting about mid September, pumpkin fans begin to rejoice.  It's pumpkin time and the pumpkin recipes begin to flow.  From the middle of September to the end of December we see a plethora of pumpkin recipes flood the internet.  And to be honest, I'm one of those people that can't get enough of the orange stuff.

While my dad's pecan pie will always be the number one holiday pie in my life, pumpkin pie has quickly earned it's place in the number 2 spot.  I've tried various pumpkin pie recipes over the years.  From the basic pumpkin pie topped with a dollop of whipped cream, to renditions that include chocolate chips, a variation that is a combination of cheesecake and pumpkin pie layered on one another; they have all been good.
But this year, I think I found the pumpkin pie recipe.  The one that's a showstopper, not only in taste but appearance too.  A pumpkin pie that's full of all that amazing spice we expect, a creamy, rich filling that is sweetened by granulated sugar, as well as, brown sugar that gives it that caramel-y undertone.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

White Bean Soup

During the cooler months I probably make soup at least 2 to 3 times a week.  To me, there's just nothing better than a steamy bowl of soup on a chilly day.  My list of soups to try grows daily.  At the rate I'm adding recipes I'll be able to try everything in about...oh, 2 to 3 years!

But that doesn't stop me from scrolling through pinterest, purusing magazines, and scouring the internet for drool-worthy recipes.  One of those irresistible recipes I recently came across was from Chef In Training and it immediately went to the top of my list.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Garlic Butta Hot Wings

First of all I have to say sorry.  Sorry I've been MIA for the passed week and half.  We've had a lot going on the past several weeks and unfortunately the ol' blog has been neglected.  We vacationed at the beginning of the month, we got back and it was time to prepare for Thanksgiving and my monthly news segment and on top of that we just had to get back in routine and deal with the regular day to day stuff.  It feels like we jumped straight from August to December and I'm not quite sure where the other months have gone.  Does anyone else feel my pain?

December isn't going to much easier.  We've put Christmas decorations up.  Yay!  Trying to get shopping completed, plan and prepare for Tucker's 5th birthday.  Where has the time gone?  We have to get ready for Christmas programs, family coming to town and bake cookies for the jolly ol' big guy.

So, I've been overwhelmed with everything that's had to be done and I'm getting overwhelmed just thinking about everything else that needs to be done and I haven't had time to sit down and share any recipes with you guys.  I've cooked, taken pictures and written recipes but that's as far as I've gotten.  So, before you all disown me and move on I wanted to come over here and give you a brief summary of what's been going on in the world of Lynsey Lou's and share an amazing recipe with you.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sweet Potato Brown Sugar Bars with Brown Butter Marshmallow Topping

It's no news to any of you that have been reading my blog for any amount of time that I love bars.  Bars are one of my all time favorite desserts.  They are quick, easy to throw together and all the goodness of a cookie without all the work. 

Brownies are probably my ultimate favorite. I could eat a pan of brownies by myself... if I didn't practice self control.  There's something about that slightly crispy outer edge and fudgy center that just makes me weak in the knees.

Now we all know that brownies include chocolate, but what about blondes...or brown sugar squares?  Well, brown sugar squares are the same concept of brownies but without the chocolate.  So if you aren't an avid lover of chocolate or just want a chocolate free dessert this go around, then brown sugar squares should go to the top of your list.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey, Cranberry, Avocado Salad

The turkey.  It's the centerpiece on practically ever Thanksgiving table.  Although there are different preparations; roasted, baked, fried, smoked and even the not so classic variations such as the turducken.  One thing stays consistent, everyone looks forward to having a slice or two of that bird on Thanksgiving day

There's so much thought and preparation that goes into the meal.  People plan for months, weeks and days to ensure their family is served an amazing meal.  But, what happens after the turkey is carved, the dressing is eaten and the pies are sliced?  Lots of leftovers.  And a big emphasis on the lots.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweet Potato Waffles

As much as I love mashed potatoes; both regular and sweet, I always make sure to make enough to ensure I have leftovers.  Why?  For one reason.  Potato cakes.  If you're wondering what the heck a potato cake is, let me enlighten you.

It's only the best thing ever.  Not to mention one of the simplest ways to spice up those leftovers.  It's leftover mashed potatoes that are scooped in about 1/4 cup portions and placed in a frying pan.  From there the outsides gets golden brown and crispy and the inside stays the consistency of those beautiful buttery mashed potatoes.

I could make a meal out of these alone.  They are great without adding any extras, but that's not to say you couldn't add awesomeness to the mix.  Say like, bacon, cheese or even some chives.  It'd be just like eating a loaded baked potato.  Yum!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake {Boozy or Non-boozy}

By now I'm pretty sure you've all got your menus planned and preparations are taking place in order to prepared for the big Thanksgiving meal.  So, I'm not going to talk to you about some recipe that you MUST make and place on your Thanksgiving table.  No, that's not what I want to talk about. Instead, I want to talk about the day after Thanksgiving.

No, not black Friday.  Although, technically the day after Thanksgiving is black Friday, that's not where I'm going with this.  I want to talk to you about the day after and all that food you have leftover.  I know, you can eat that Thanksgiving meal once, maybe twice after that actual big meal is actually consumed but after that it's time to get creative.

So, I want to focus on desserts today.  On Friday, you'll be looking at a counter full of half eaten pies, cakes and cookies.  What to do, oh what to do.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie

Do you have those moments when you want to step out and try something new.  Something from a different cuisine, a new recipe, a new ingredient; something you've never had before and possibly aren't very comfortable with?  I have those moments quite often, Spencer would say I push the boundaries from time to time.  But about 95% of the time we're both glad I stepped outside my comfort zone.

This was one of those times I really wanted to take that step.  Why, you ask?  Well, for this month's secret recipe club assignment I was give a blog that will take your taste buds all around the world.  Tara's Multicultural Table definitely lives up to the name, it's packed with amazing recipes from all over and they all sound incredible.  From her beautifully fluffy Brusselse WaflesHortobagy Palacsinta (Hungarian stuffed crepes)caramelle (pasta stuffed with sweet potato) and cioccolata calda (Italian hot chocolate with orange whipped cream)...and that's just a glimpse into what she has to offer.  All of her recipes look so good, so be sure to head over there and check them all out!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Iced Hot Chocolate

If you're like me when you go to the grocery store you meander down the seasonal isle to see all those delicious foods and treats.  I check the isle to see if any of my old favorites are available, all the while checking out all the new goods to see if any are calling my name.

Also, if you're like me, then you take notice of what new and great creation Oreo has piled on those shelves.  Birthday cake, tried it.  Mint Oreos, tried it and my little guy devoured the rest.  Then there's all those I haven't even gotten a chance to try; root beer, berry creme, cookie dough, Reese's, just to name a few.  I mean, Oreo has really expanded their brand.

When the different seasons roll around, it's not just Oreos with those brightly colored cremes that line the shelves, it's also various flavors that join the mix.  So, when fall rolled around and I browsed the cookie isle you can guess what caught my eye.  Pumpkin Spice Oreos.  It didn't take long for those puppies to find a place in my cart.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Salted Caramel Apple Cider

Aside from pumpkin, apples are synonymous with this time of year.  Just think about it, the fair rolls around and there are booths filled with candy and caramel apples.  Trips to the apple orchard are planned and bushel upon bushel of apples are picked and a plethora of baked goods are made.

What is it about the simple apple that makes me weak in the knees?  The perfect apple, how would you describe it?  Mine would be firm, juicy, crispy, sweet and slightly tart.  My favorite apples are the Honeycrisp variety.  Have you tried them?  If not, you must.  And now.

Anyway, I love apples.  Aside from sweet and savory recipes, I love apple flavored beverages. Apple cider to be specific.  Me and apple cider go way back.  I mean, like over 25 years ago.  I remember the first time I tasted it.  I was first drawn in by the intoxicating smell; apples and cinnamon, to this day still one of my favorite smells.  Then I took my first sip and that was it.  I was hooked.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall Spiced Popcorn

Folks, popcorn is no longer just for the movie theaters.  Just as with all other food crazes, over the past few years popcorn has been given a food category all it's own.  Popcorn lover's rejoice!

While I'm a fanatic of freshly popped popcorn that's been tossed in melted butter, there's so many more other ways to serve that fluffy, crispy stuff.  Just think about it, long before the chef's and home cooks started experimenting with different flavor concoctions there were Cracker Jacks, Crunch N Much, Fiddle Faddle and those infamous tins that come out during the holidays.

Put, the popcorn creations aren't limited to large companies or chefs anymore.  Home cooks around the glob are taking those crispy kernels and making some amazing creations.  I have to admit, I'm a little behind on the popcorn bandwagon.  Not that I haven't found, bookmarked, clipped and pinned several recipes with every intention of making them.  The problem is, I'm sometimes over ambitious and have these grand plans, then I get myself overwhelmed and take a brake.  Unfortunately for myself, I did this with the popcorn and never got back around to it.  Until now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Butter Toffee Rice Krispie Treats

This time of year we get wrapped up in so many things; two in particular are elaborate holiday spreads and pumpkin everything.  I know I am guilty of both.  As I've mentioned before, I get wrapped up in the research and planning of what I will make to help contribute to the big meal.  And, I'm just as guilty of falling face first into as many pumpkin recipes I possibly can.

I think it's easy to let ourselves get wrapped up in our own little world of planning and pumpkin ecstasy, all the while forgetting about the simple things in life and the fact that there are some people out there that just don't care that much about pumpkin.  So, I decided it was time to take a step back from my dessert planning and pumpkin coma.

I wanted to make something not only for the non-pumpkin fans, but also for those little's that could care less about some show stopping dessert.  They would rather have a slice of vanilla cake, a scoop of ice cream or even a rice krispie treat instead.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Bake Pumpkin Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Tartlettes

The holidays are here!  Halloween is just a warm-up for the food and indulgences we are about to consume for the next two months.  I love the holidays; the friends, family, and the amazing food.  The food that everyone dreams of for 9 months out of the year.  I would say 10 but everyone is recovering in January from all the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and sweets that they ate over the last two months.

But, now it's November and it's time to bring on the food.  Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and the desserts.  Pies, cakes, and cheesecakes, just to name a few.  I think I look forward to the main course as much as I look forward to all the desserts, both classic and new.  

I love trying new desserts to present at Thanksgiving, and I'm so grateful my family allows me to practice my passion by leaving my options open to make new desserts to grace the Thanksgiving table. This is an honor I don't take lightly.  I spend months reading, researching, pinning and even writing recipes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Crescents with Maple Glaze

I'm a sucker for breakfast pastries.  Anytime I go into a bakery or coffee shop, my first stop is the breakfast pastries.  The first thing that lures me in is the look.  They are like little works of art, lining a shelf for decoration.  Then I start looking at all the fillings and toppings and instantly want one of everything.

But, while I could take one of everything, there is one pastry in particular that I have a weakness for.  The simple, yet amazing cream cheese danish.  I'm not sure what it is about it, but I'm a sucker for fluffy, flaky pastries that are filled with that tangy cream cheese filling.  If I see one of those in the case, it's done.  There's no question what I'm walking out with.

During the fall, it's no news to you, I love pumpkin.  When the weather starts cooling off I start counting down the days until it's actual okay to break out the pumpkin.  Once that time finally rolls around, the pumpkin fest begins.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Apple, Bacon, White Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese

My addiction started long, long ago.  It's comprised of three very simple things; bread, butter, and cheese.  Alone these ingredients are basic, plain ol', kitchen staples, but when combined they amazing and incredibly addicting.

What is it about melty, gooey cheese sandwiched between two buttery, slightly crunchy pieces of toast that is so irresistible?  Besides being irresistible, it's also addicting.  Let's take it one step further and just say it's the epitome of comfort food.

While I love the basic grilled cheese, I can't help but play around with it.  I love playing with different cheeses, cheese combinations, as well as adding different ingredients to kind of change things up from time to time.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate

It's officially fall-like weather here and I couldn't be more excited.  Bring on the jackets, comfort food and cozy beverages.

To me there's nothing better than sipping on a warm cup of coffee in the mornings or relaxing with a cup of warm hot chocolate in the afternoon or evenings.  Hot chocolate has always been one of my favorite fall and winter time beverages.  There's just something about having a cup full of steaming, smooth and rich hot chocolate that makes me feel so happy.

Over the past few years, I've ventured out and started trying different variations of hot chocolate. Mexican hot chocolate.  White hot chocolate. And even white chocolate in my pumpkin lattes. Craziness right?
Since I am beyond addicted to my white chocolate pumpkin spice lattes, I wanted to try omitting the coffee and whipping up a simple cup of pumpkin spice white hot chocolate.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Whiskey BBQ Ketchup

I am a condiment, sauce, dip and dressing lover girl.  If I'm eating chips and salsa, I don't just dip my chip in the salsa to get that tomato flavor, I dunk my chip in that chunky tomato goodness and scoop up a heaping helping of salsa and indulge.  I go through 2-3 (small restaurant size) bowls of salsa to Spencer's half of one.  If we're talking salads, I don't want enough dressing on there just to get a hint of dressing, I want a generous amount.

So when it comes to dipping my nuggets or fries in a sauce, you know where I'm going with this.  I don't lightly dip it in there, I make that fry or nugget dive in head first to scoop up that saucy goodness.  That being said, if I've got a good, hot, crispy, lightly salted fry I can take or leave the ketchup.  Normally.

But, when we're talking about whisky bbq ketchup.  Yes.  Whisky.  BBQ. Ketchup.  You saw right. That's a whole new ballgame.

Monday, October 27, 2014

SRC: Boozy Pumpkin Bread

Decisions, decisions.  Each month I'm given the daunting task of browsing through an amazing blog and singling just one recipe out to present to you all on Secret Recipe Club reveal day.  You would think that after a while of having to make this decision it would get easier.  But, well, it just doesn't.

This month I just as hard of a time as ever.  My assignment this month was The Wimpy Vegetarian.  And let me tell ya, there is absolutely nothing wimpy or weak about Susan, her blog, or any of the numerous recipes she's featured on her blog.  I did not have any problems finding recipes that called my name, and honestly I wasn't missing the meat at all.  Browsing through Susan's recipes I was drawn to the chocolaty chocolate browniescrack granolablackberry cornbread bucklehomemade sauerkrautapple cider syrup, and even these browned butter bread crumbs just to name a few.

When I finally had to bite the bullet and choose which recipe to make first, I decided to take the fall route and go with something pumpkin.  It took me a matter of seconds to choose a bread from the list of options.  Boozy pumpkin bread to be exact!

DB: Austrian Sachertorte

This month's Daring Baker's challenge was calling my name.  It's a challenge all about baking, filling cakes, coating them in ganache.  Oh, and it's about chocolate.  It's like this challenge was written just for me.

The October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. She took us to Austria and introduced us to the wonders of the Sachertorte.  

This is a classic Austrian dessert.  A decadently rich chocolate cake, filled with apricot glaze and topped with chocolate ganache.  It's decorated with a simple piping of chocolate and served with a side of unsweetened whipped cream.

Here's a little more history on the sachertorte-
The Sachertorte was first created in Austria in 1832 when Prince Metternich requested a fancy dessert for his dinner guests. His pastry chef was ill that night, so the task fell to the apprentice, Franz Sacher, who came up with the now famous cake that bears his name. Franz built a career on that cake, and his son Eduard later opened the Sacher Hotel in Vienna where Franz’s cake, made according to the hotel’s original and closely-guarded secret recipe, is served to this day (and can also be ordered online and shipped worldwide). The cake is so popular in Vienna that it has become an integral part of the city’s kaffeehaus tradition, with local bakeries and cafés serving up their own versions along with a dollop of schlag and a cup of steaming hot coffee.

I had so much fun with this month's challenge.  Not only did I get to fix my chocolate craving, but I also got to try different type of cake and flavor combination that I probably would not have tried otherwise.  So the next time you need a cake or just want to try a different dessert, make this Austrian sachertorte.

DB: Austrian Sachertorte

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
9 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup powdered sugar
6 Large eggs, room temperature, separated
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup all purpose flour
Pinch salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and dust with flour.  Line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.

Fill a saucepan with about an inch of water and place over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer.  Once the water begins to simmer place a heat-proof bowl over the simmer water and add the chocolate.  Stir occasionally until melted.  Remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring often.

Meanwhile, place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until light, pale in color and creamy. Reduce mixing speed to low, slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until completely incorporated then increase the mixing speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.

Add egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition.  Once completely incorporated add the vanilla and cooled chocolate and beat well until light and creamy.

In a separate bowl, add the egg whites and one tablespoon of granulated sugar and beat on high until foamy.  Gradually add the remaining granulated sugar and continue beating the egg whites until they form soft, yet stiff, shiny peaks.

Add about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and whip vigorously into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula until just a few bits of egg whites remain.  Be sure to be gentle through the process so the egg whites are not deflated.

In a separate bowl combine flour and salt and whisk to combine.  Sift half of it over the chocolate mixture and fold in with a spatula until almost incorporated.  Sift the remaining flour over the chocolate and fold until completely combined.

Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  The cake will crack and dome as it bakes but will flatten as it cools.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen and remove the outside of the pan.  Carefully invert the cake onto a cooling rack and remove from the bottom of the pan and remove parchment paper.  Turn the cake right side up and allow to cool completely.

To assemble, turn the cake upside-down so the flat bottom is now the cake top.  Cut the cake horizontally into 2 even layers.  Place 1 cake layer on a cake board or cake plate and spread it generously with about half of the apricot glaze.  Allow it to soak in.  Place the second cake layer on top and spread the top and sides with the remaining apricot glaze.

Working quickly before the glaze sets, use an offset metal spatula to smooth the top and sides.  Place the cake on a rack and set over a plate or baking sheet lined with wax paper and allow glaze to set.

Make the chocolate glaze and immediately pour over the cake, first around the edge and then the middle.  Spread the excess glaze over any bare spots using the offset spatula.  Before the glaze has a chance to set, move the cake to a serving platter.

Fill a piping bag with the writing chocolate and pipe the word "Sacher" in the center of the cake and add any decorative flourishes desired.  Chill the cake until the glaze is set, at least 1 hour.

To serve:
Allow the cake to come to room temperature, let sit out at least 1 hour.  Whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.  If desired, sweeten with powdered sugar to taste.  Using a large, sharp knife dipped in hot water (and wiped off) cut cake and repeat process between cuts.

Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.

For the apricot glaze-
1 1/4 Cup apricot jam or preserves
2 Tbsp rum or water

Bring jam and rum/water to a boil.  Keep mixture over medium heat, allowing to cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and drips slowly from the spoon.  Strain through a wire, mesh sieve, pressing firmly on the solids.  This should yield about 1 cup of glaze.

For the chocolate glaze-
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup water
4 Oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Place sugar and water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Attach a candy thermometer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 234 F.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate.  It might thicken up quite a bit.  if it does, return to low heat and add a few drops of water if necessary to thin it out to a runny, pourable consistency.  The glaze should be smooth and shiny.

Remove mixture from heat, stir the glaze for 30-60 seconds to cool slightly.  Immediately use it to glaze the cake.

For the writing chocolate-
1/4 Cup chopped chocolate
1/2-1 Tsp vegetable oil

Heat the chocolate until just melted, then stir in enough vegetable oil to get a pipeable consistency.  Place the chocolate in a piping bag and pipe design on the cake.

Recipe source: Kaffeehaus: The Best Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague by Rick Rodgers,                                                via Epicurious.
                                 Writing chocolate from WickedGoodies.net

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

I am beyond excited to talk to you about the giveaway I have going on today!  I have teamed up with Angela, Juggling Act Mama, and several other amazing and talented bloggers to give one lucky reader the opportunity to win their very own KitchenAid Mixer!

Let me just say, I have a KitchenAid myself and I LOVE it.  I've had mine for about 6 years and I use it all the time.  Not only is it ideal for mixing batters for baked good, but it also has several attachments making it a multi-use kitchen tool that can easily become your best friend.  From pastas, to meat grinding and even making ice cream, there are so many uses for your mixer.

If you're not a cook, keep in mind that Christmas is a little over 60 days away and this will make a wonderful gift for the chef or baker in your life!

So enter for your chance to win this amazing kitchen tool that's as fun to look at as it is to use!

Welcome to the KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway event!  We're giving away a truly awesome prize today - a KitchenAid 5 Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield!  What's not to love about that? KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

Giveaway organized by Juggling Act Mama

ABOUT THE PRIZE: KitchenAid 5 Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield
  • Winner chooses color - Empire Red, Ice (blue), Contour Silver or White on White
  • Multipurpose attachment hub, over 15 optional attachments
  • 5-quart stainless steel bowl, dishwasher safe
  • Tilt-head design
  • Includes coated flat beater, coated dough hook, wire whip and 1-piece pouring shield, 1-year warranty
  • 2-piece pouring shield with large chute for adding ingredients
  • 325-watt mixer with 10 speeds; 5-quart stainless steel bowl

Enter the KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  Some entries, such as tweeting can be done daily so be sure to check back. RULES: Open to US/CAN Residents only. 1 winner will be chosen. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours of announcement or a new winner will be drawn. Prize is valued at $300 USD. Winner may choose a $300 USD Amazon gift card in lieu of prize if desired. All entries will be verified. This giveaway is in no way associated with KitchenAid, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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